Day 7 – NaPoWriMo – In It Together

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We’re on our way back from the river,
your eyes raw bone.

Quarantined together in a tiny fiat 500,
I sit still with legs

slightly apart staring off to the right
ignoring the black line approaching

to smudge me out.

Drawn and worn as
long as the April sky,

your silence is
the dark punctuation of the day.

I’m green shoots, flowers, bumblebees
waiting to go home, back into the yellow heat,

with love everywhere waiting.

Day 2 – The Sycamore Gap Tree

Sycamore, sycamore.

Say your name our loud.

Sycamore, sycamore.

A whisper plays

upon the wind.

A spell to conjure

you to life before me.

Between Milecastle 13 and Crag Lough,

at the end of a cliff, on an outcrop of Whin Sill

sandwiched between the Roman Wall,

Sycamore, Sycamore

I come to you.

Once, one of many,

you stand alone

in your splendour.

I come carrying

Hollywood images

of bows and arrows

and thieves. Fake.

Sycamore, sycamore.

I touch your truck.

Reddy-grey fissured bark

and white tender lichen.

I stretch my neck back

to look up and up

onto your foliage.

Magnificent.

Every shade of green

spreads wide.

Shining out from your

everlasting soul.

Sycamore. Sycamore.

Day 1 – NAPoWriMo – In these troubling times, our way of being comes into sharp focus

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April brings with it the challenge of National Poetry Writing Month. One poem per day for the next 30 days. What better way to kick start my next 100 days of blogging if you take up this challenge. So follow along as for the next 30 days , I’ll be sharing a poem I create, sometimes in response to the prompts posted over here, sometimes from other inspirations. But I’ll be hopefully following the theme of Nature for this body of work.

Day 1 – In these troubling times, our way of being comes into sharp focus

Taking out the rubbish

I’m met by a bully of a bird

on our backyard wall.

 

He doesn’t take his leave.

Indolent, he waiters along the bricks

beady eyeing me.

 

Mum used to say things

must be rough at sea

for seagulls to be so far inland.

 

Today, I don’t think this is the case.

I think people are no longer at sea

forcing these scavengers

 

reliant on the discarded chip

or bit of fish to become urban

into backyards where citizens

 

take their recommended

or is it permitted

daily shot of sun while in lockdown.

 

This seagull surveys the scene.

One foot, two foot, two foot, one.

Head jerking alert, yellow sickle beak,

 

hooking the air with it’s call.

Grey wings once settled now stretched

wide with an inkling to take flight

 

but it decides to stay, close.

Two foot, one foot, one foot two.

A shared landscape it’s always been.

 

Perhaps, now, more obvious

how we all have to adapt

to a new way of being

 

which might have us all eating grass yet.

My Sister, My Wound

While the lockdown has been going on, I’ve been leaning into my creativity. One resource which has been helping me with reading and writing is the Social Distancing Writing Retreat hosted by Amanda P Moore.

Each day, there are four parts to each prompt. First there’s a poem to read followed by an essay on craft. Bearing these two in mind, there’s a writing prompt followed by an outlet, a place to publish your creations recommended.

I’m behind in the prompts but I’ve been finding this retreat a rich oasis of inspiration for my writing.

Here is a piece, I’ve redrafted today after following the readings for Day 6.

My Sister, My Wound after Ross Gay

No matter the mauling.

No matter the removal of face awaits.
There is no coming back
from coming to you.

My body betrays me
offering myself just like that.
With arms furred with pollen
like bright things at your feet;

marigold, opal, purple kale.
Biting my tougue, smile open
singing my insides our like an angel,

for you, to you.

I place my head into your mouth
knowing I’ll lose my head,
just like the sky biting down
into my torn flesh.

Moving Forward

I’m nearing the end of #100daysof blogging, my first 100 days project of 2020. Last year I managed to knock out three different 100 day projects and I definitely feel the benefit of such daily practice this year. There is more of a flow to my practice; less friction, more ease.

With this in mind, with about two weeks to go on my blogging challenge, I have decided to continue with the blogging for another 100 days. With April just around the corner, National Poetry Writing Month, I think it would be remiss of me to not pick up this challenge and explore my poetry skills here.

So come the beginning of April, get ready to see 30 days of poetry, based around the theme of nature. I’m excited about this as this has been something I’ve been exploring in my personal and professional lives for the past few years. It’s a pity that my access to the outdoors will be limited for the foreseeable future with the Coronavirus but this could be a way to keep the spark alive; the connection with nature alive and present.

I might even bring back in my practice of creating haibuns. But I definitely want to emulate, ‘ The Country Diary of a Black Women’, something I created years ago after being inspired for Edith Holden’s books and made it my own.

Beware of the Trees

Beware the trees, they said. A sure way to your soul, they said. It was far too late for me to listen. The trees had me at their straight green-grey hello. At their bare scrunched heads, balled up waiting for fresh buds. They had me at their mossy sides, their swaying branches and deep, ancient roots.

Beware of the trees, they said. Too late for me to listen. Or to care. The trees have already laid a deep furrowed path through my wild, wild soul.

Between Landscapes

Peel Crags

The walk is blustery. A chill sets in. The stone wall from centuries past worn into smooth layers, slips and trips around memories.

She breaths deep and releases aeons of pain. Her body relaxes into the currents. And with arms wide, she lets go. Her shadow is a moving dark mass across the landscape.

Her heart, the energetic space of unconditional love beats for all, pumping the blood of life throughout and between this landscape and hers.

Lady on Fire

Proud as a wolf, protective and loyal, she still burns for the life that could have been. If she has said ‘no’ instead of yes. If she had walked on instead of stopping to pay attention.

Burning from the inside out, she has mastered the guise of calm and delicacy to anyone watching her. She has mastered the guise of contentment and love. But she smoulders.

But sometimes, a flicker escapes usually when out in the wilds. Usually when alone under the pale moon. Then you will see her prowl. Then you will hear her howl.

Hazel Catkins

Walk down by the falls, in winter, catch the scent of wet clay upon the breeze of indifference. Dullness is broken by golden catkins, with a hint of blush. Light and soft prickles flutter, hanging long, delicate and strong. Underneath, collect the hazelnuts but pay a mind to the grey squirrel with a rosy back, who probably needs them more than you. Share and connect as we are all kin. We are one.